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Here’s the thing: Most DJs are more than capable of creating their own mixes. So why aren’t more of us doing it? Because most of us would rather be playing video games than learning music theory or mastering an instrument. Enter Melodics, the learning app that KNOWS we’d rather be gaming, and its Guitar Hero approach to turning DJs into producers.
5 minutes a day
We’re going to go out on a limb here and wager you’ve got five minutes a day to get your learn on and have a little fun doing it. A safe bet, because by gradually guiding you through bite-sized lessons that couple music real-world DJs listen to and want to make with real-time feedback and tips to improve your performance, Melodics gently jacks you to a new level of proficiency that literally takes just a few focused minutes a day.
“We’re big believers in the Learn by Doing approach,” says Melodics founder Sam Gribben, a name you might recognize as one of the architects of Serato. “From the outset, it was important to us that you could just get in and start playing, start learning, without having to read lots of theory - but that said, you do learn the important theoretical elements as you play.”
Melodics is a systematic, structured approach to the way
3 more reasons to love Melodics!
Levels for every skill set (starting with the VERY basics) and the ability to level up as needed, whenever you feel ready for a new challenge.
Diversity: Key to Melodics success is its ability to instill pattern recognition for the music YOU most want to create, right out of the gate. Lessons feature curator-crafted examples of EDM, house, future bass, boom bap, hip-hop, 70s and 80s breaks, trap, and more.
By reinforcing seeing and hearing the music that most matters to you — and holding you accountable with a variety of stat sheets, results are all but guaranteed.
If you’ve ever wanted to unlock your inner producer or peer into the production techniques used by the producers behind your favorite tracks, Melodics just may be music to your ears.
Nicely played Melodics, Nicely played.
Your FREE trial of Melodics starts with your next click!
Spotlight: Angelica Cox
Even without a musical pedigree most DJs would happily splice their DNA for (her father is legendary DJ/producer Chris Cox of Thunderpuss), Angelica Cox is clearly a young woman with a uncommon grasp of the alchemy of making music. As a small child, she was already programming the mix CDs her father would pass out at her birthday parties.
“From the time I was little, whenever my parents would play their music in the car, which would be a variation of albums, I would be like ‘I like this one’ and I would ask for certain songs over and over again,” say Angelica. “And so my dad would basically compile a mixtape of all my favorite songs, we called it Angelica’s Birthday CD, for me to pass out at my parties. Just random stuff — Toto, No Doubt, Cher, I was all over the place.”
It’s an eclectic palette Angelica carries with her to this day, as evidenced by her current project, Crying Cosmos, a delightfully difficult to describe duo that began with meeting budding singer/songwriter Josh Frankowski at Universal Studios’ Hollywood Halloween Horror Night.
“He played a monster and we became friends,” says Angelica. “We started writing together, bouncing ideas off each other, building our confidence, I had just picked up the guitar. We wrote one of our first songs, "Summertime", in about an hour and were just so proud of ourselves that I called my dad and said ‘Hey, can I come drive to Vegas and can you help us make this song?’”
Still, the work is hers. And work she does, juggling writing and performing with the demands of being twenty-something in LA, where she holds down four jobs.
“Growing up, I was aware of how scary the entertainment business can be,” says Angelica. “Music is a business with so many ups and downs that I guess I was always intimidated by it. But now that I’ve fully shown I want to be professional about it and learn every aspect of it, my dad is really proud. He’s been giving me a lot of old gear hand-me-downs and showing me the ropes.”
Angelica Cox. The tradition continues.
Catch the So-Cal vibe of Crying Cosmos:
facebook.com/cryingcosmosofficial / Instagram @cryingcosmosofficial
ProMobile DJ with Chase Jewell
In all my years as a mobile DJ and a DJ in general by far the hardest thing I have found is maintaining a good balance between my work and my home life! While DJing is a passion and I enjoy it deeply it is easy to forget that a good balance is essential to the success of not only your family and social life but also the success of your career in DJing. Hopefully, I can show you a few ways to make sure you have a good balance between the work you do and home!
Have a set schedule for the day-to-day tasks for your DJ Business
This is by far the hardest thing to do! While I know in today’s social media culture it is hard not to answer every phone call and email or message immediately upon receipt, it is essential you set up set hours of operation for your “office” to ensure all the backend work gets done.
Yes what we do is fun and rewarding it is also a business and we should run it like a business if we want to ensure we not only get what we are worth but also to show a look of being professional to potential clients. Having a set schedule also ensures you do not let your business bleed into your personal life. I recommend setting up away messages on social media and your email explaining the hours of operation and letting the potential client know that they are important to you and you will get back to them during regular business hours. There are companies that handle taking calls for you as well that can take messages and forward them to you during regular hours as well!
Completing tasks started and set deadlines
Another thing I like to do is making sure I complete all the tasks for the business I start. This way I ensure I don’t have to stop during my personal time to handle tasks I should have completed during my set schedule. The best way to ensure this is to set deadlines for yourself to complete the task. This will ensure you focus on the task and not get distracted by other things going on around you. Having deadlines and schedules also makes sure you don’t let the tasks bleed into your personal life!
Unless you are working an event weekends are for relaxing
Whether you have a family or not, you need time to rest and relax. This includes time to socialize with friends and spending time with family. One of the things I like to do is set dates that are just for family. I’ll get with my wife and ask what weekends or specific dates she wants for family time and ask her for a specific dollar amount that would be worth me missing… continue reading at promobiledj.com
Chase Jewell: Chase Jewell has been in the DJ world for 15 years, starting in clubs and bars then moving on to mobile events. From the beginning, he’s always had a fascination with pro-audio and lighting gear. His mobile DJ company, Jewell DJ Solutions, serves all of Indiana and some of Ohio, Kentucky, and Illinois. Chase can be reached at email@example.com / jewelldjsolutions.com. Find him on Facebook or Twitter.
The Gear Corner: Gator Quad-Pod
This year at NAMM Gator released an expansion of its revolutionary new Quad-Pod stand. They added a pair of models with a platform to securely mount a moving head, perfect for DJ use. Because it’s a quad-pod stand (just like a tripod, but with 4 legs, it is very compact and fits in just about the smallest DJ vehicle with ease. It packs down to around 40” long and 6” square. Also because it is a Quad-Pod it is exceptionally stable, even with the rotational torque applied from a moving light, even at it’s maximum height of 6’.
The innovative design offers an alternative to totems and other mounting options. There is a traditional stand model, where all the lifting power is provided by you. Since the stand supports up to 100 lbs, a little help might be nice, so they have another model that has a lift-assist of up to 40 lbs.
The top platform includes mounting holes and straps to securely mount your moving head, and the stand also includes a pretty handy cable management clip. It’s also covered by Gator’s three-year warranty.
Because the Quad-Pod is a unique stand design traditional 3-sized scrims won’t work on it. Gator has you covered (see what I did there). They have new 4-sided black and white scrims for the quad pods.
For more information, or to purchase the these items at special Gear Corner prices, visit:
nlfxpro.com/gfw-lightmh250-25 / nlfxpro.com/gfw-lightmh250-15
nlfxpro.com/gfw-quadscrimb / www.nlfxpro.com/gfw-quadscrimw
Editorial Photo Credit: Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com
I feel like this is the elephant in the room at the moment for the DJ community so why not talk about it. If you’ve been living in a cave the past few weeks, Lifetime released a documentary series called “Surviving R. Kelly” about the rumors and, in some cases, allegations of sexual, physical and mental abuse against Mr. Kelly. This type of documentary programming is part of the channel’s commitment to provide a platform for woman to bring awareness to harassment and abuse that largely (especially in the case of R. Kelly) goes ignored in the mainstream media.
The response to the documentary has been pretty big. Not only is the media picking it up but it’s starting to have some larger repercussions -- Kelly and Sony (his label) have parted ways, artists that he’s collaborated with are removing songs they jointly work on from their catalog, his manager turned himself into the authorities and probably the most damning thing is his daughter has called him a “monster.”
Admittedly, I haven’t and probably won’t watch the documentary. I have many more things that I want to pour my time into this year than watching something like this. I’ve known of the allegations levied against Kelly for years so more witnesses coming forward or damning evidence isn’t going to move the needle of me thinking any less of him.
In a private DJ Facebook group I’m in, one of the DJs asked what our responses are going to be to this and how we’re handling it? Honestly, I hadn’t given it much thought until he made that post. There are plenty of other artists who have done things that morally are seen as disgusting – Michael Jackson’s child abuse case, Chris Brown’s domestic issues and though not entirely in the same vein, Kanye West’s eccentric behavior – and while they’ve caused waves in the news, I haven’t ever had a client or guest ask me not to play their music due to those issues. In some of the other DJ groups I’m in, I’ve seen posts from DJs who’ve been booed for playing any R. Kelly at their events the last couple of weeks and other DJs who’ve removed all the content of R. Kelly from their computer so it got me thinking what my take is and what I’m going to do about it.
The reality is that we all have skeletons in our closet – maybe not of the magnitude of R. Kelly’s but if clients really knew some of our baggage, would they even hire us? It just so happens that, as a celebrity, R. Kelly’s baggage is way more public. How many other artists are doing things that we don’t even know about, yet we play their music and clients/guests sing and dance to their tracks? I just saw a documentary on Whitney Houston that made her out to be a drug addict and a bad mother. The moment we start drawing a moral line of what is acceptable and not, it becomes a slippery slope. I’m not giving R. Kelly a pass. If the allegations are proven true, he deserves punishment that fits the crime, but keep in mind that documentaries are, by design, one side of the argument.
Here’s how I’m handling it right now (and I’m not saying my way is the best way or only way). Hopefully, it’ll give you pause to consider your response. For one, R. Kelly’s tracks aren’t going to make/break my programming. I use 1-3 songs on a semi-regular basis but I can easily replace them with others. I don’t feel like I have to have any “one song” to make a party lit. Now, if it’s on a client’s “must play” request list, then I’m going to play it. If it’s requested by a guest at an event, I’ll ask them, “Are you sure?” and measure their response. If it’s met with hesitancy, I’ll suggest we table it and ask if they have a different song I can play instead. I recently had a guest who did request it and when I posed that question, her response was, “You played Michael Jackson, didn’t you?” She’s right. I did and it worked. The difference here though is that this is a hot button topic right now. I don’t want to test the waters unless I’m absolutely convinced I need to play it (which is rare). I ended up playing it and it worked great. That said, I’ll probably stay off his tunes in my regular programming until the temperature cools a bit on this one.
My guess is that it’ll be old news in a few months. In some respects, it’s sad to be writing that but it is reality. We live in a very short news cycle environment and the next scandal to break will replace this one.
What’s your response to this issue? How are you handling it? Drop me a note and let me know.
About: Based out of NYC, DJ Brian Buonassissi is a successful internationally traveling DJ/MC specializing in luxury destination private events. He runs a multi-city mobile DJ/event business with satellite offices in Southern California, Scottsdale, AZ Destin, FL, Tallassee, FL and New York City. You can connect with him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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TED: Michael Patrick Lynch
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The more we read and watch online, the harder it becomes to tell the difference between what's real and what's fake. It's as if we know more but understand less, says philosopher Michael Patrick Lynch. In this talk, he dares us to take active steps to burst our filter bubbles and participate in the common reality that actually underpins everything.
This talk was presented at an official TED conference in April 2017.
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